Beliefs

Church of England adds a second woman bishop in space of three months

Alison White, the next suffragan bishop of Hull. Photo courtesy of The Office of the Archbishop of York
Alison White, the new Bishop Suffragan of Hull. Photo courtesy of The Office of the Archbishop of York

Alison White, the next suffragan bishop of Hull. Photo courtesy of The Office of the Archbishop of York

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) The Church of England appointed its second woman bishop on Wednesday (March 25), only two months after it consecrated its first.

Alison White, 58, will become the next suffragan bishop of Hull, following closely on the heels of Bishop Libby Lane, who was consecrated in January as a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Chester. A suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan or diocesan bishop.

White is married to the assistant bishop of Newcastle, Frank White.

Hull falls under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of York, which includes the city of York, about 175 miles north of London.

She will be consecrated bishop on July 3 at York Minster.

Frank and Alison White, the first family team of bishops in the Church of England. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of York

Frank and Alison White, the first family team of bishops in the Church of England. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of York

White replaces Richard Frith, who was appointed bishop of Hereford in 2014.

The Whites met in 1980. They have been married for 30 years.

In a message posted online, she wrote: “You may have noticed that I am married to a bishop. This may seem excessive! You would think that one in a family is more than enough. Believe me, this has crossed our minds.”

The church’s General Synod — its governing body — approved plans late last year to ordain women bishops after years of division and in face of stiff opposition.

Women were ordained as priests in the Church of England 20 years ago but until last year they were not allowed to become bishops.

YS/AMB END GRUNDY

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Trevor Grundy

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